At the end of last year the Ministry of Education withdrew the subsidy for the Taikura Rudolf Steiner Napier/Hastings bus service. In some respects I can understand the decision in that as parents we decided to live in Napier but send or kids to school in Hastings.
The challenge is of course that we had settled in Napier well before the subsidy was withdrawn, and that other schools still had a subsidy apply simply because they were farther than 1.5km from a public bus stop, or kids had to change buses to get to school.
Because parents of younger kids (my cut off was 10 yrs old, others were different) were uncomfortable sending their kids on the public bus many of us ended up car pooling. Personally I was concerned about the carbon implications. Others were also concerned about our young kids having to cross a very busy street unsupervised to get from and to the public bus stop in Hastings.
Each drop off or pick up took about an hour, so 10 hours per week. Given we are talking about 40 kids, and assuming each vehicle took 4 kids, that’s 10 car trips x 10 hours which equals 100 hours of lost productivity. That’s 2 1/2 full-time equalivants!
It is this lost productivity that I don’t think was accounted for when the accountants made the decision to withdraw the bus subsidy.
Luckily the Regional Council was convinced to put on a specially designated public bus for the school. I was pleasantly surprised at the relief expressed by parents that no longer did they have to do the trip to Hastings.